Is fast fashion on its way out? Ethically aware brands think so.
The cheap materials, quality and questionable sourcing and manufacturing of products is beginning to outweigh the appealing price tags amongst many people, specifically the millennial demographic. The old quality over quantity issue is resurfacing and brands are encouraged to become more sustainable, for their workers and for the environment.
Thought focuses on using fabrics such as bamboo, hemp, and cotton, which are stronger and much better for the environment. They strive in all aspects of their company to minimise their carbon footprint. For example, all their products are sourced and created in the same country to avoid shipping bits and pieces around the world unnecessarily.
Mayaminko was established by Paola Masperi in 2013 and they sell a range of bright, colourful clothing, accessories and home goods, all produced in Malawi. Their style is a mix of contemporary design and traditional African techniques. The fabrics are printed African cotton, the locals call chitenje, as well as other fabrics all sources from the local market. They believe that ethically aware brands should not have to compromise on design or product quality, but instead it should add to its value.
Free People back in the 70s was a clothing store that supported the local community in West Philadelphia (restrain from singing the Fresh prince theme…). The company took on a life of its own and soon birthed the extremely popular brands, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. Their parent company ‘URBN’ abides by the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, which ensures commitment to conducting business in a lawful, ethical, and responsible manner, which includes certification, internal screening for new suppliers, regular audits, and sustainability training for factory workers.
Matt & Nat comes from ‘Material’ and ‘Nature’ and their desire as a brand to explore this synergy. Their motto is “Live Beautifully” meaning ‘appreciating the humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us’. They create a stunning range of bags, purses, shoes and more – all made from non-leather materials including recycled nylon, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007, they have been using linings made entirely from recycled plastics bottles!
A fashion brand that wants to slow down. Bibico wanted to take things “back to basics” and reject the idea of fast fashion where quality and prices plummeted and mistreatment in manufacturing rose. A husband wife team decided to commit themselves to working with producers in India who they know well and who they can look after. Their clothes are easy to wear and high quality.